We wish you joy, love and peace in this Season of Light. While our friends in Denver, our home base, are enjoying a white Christmas, our snow here in Bradenton, Florida, comes in the form of vinyl snowmen. We’re happy to trade off snow for warm temperatures! Today is gray, with misty rain, and 72 degrees.
Our destination on this Christmas Day is Ana Maria Island, off Bradenton. David and I were married twice: June 25 at Denver City Hall and Christmas Day on the beach at Ana Maria Island. My father, a retired United Methodist minister at the time, officiated at our beach wedding, and my mom and all my sisters and their families attended.
It was a magical ceremony. As we walked through the tall pine forest to the beach, hundreds of monarch butterflies fluttered around us! The Gulf of Mexico shimmered under the brilliant sun. It was a pleasant 81 degrees.
Twenty-two years later, we’re going to revisit the site of that memorable day. Much has changed of course. Only a small portion of the pine forest remains, the rest being replaced with beach mansions. The shape of the beach changes year to year under the forces of nature. The day is gray and cooler. And we’re alone instead of with family.
We, too, have changed. But one thing has remained steadfast — our love for each other and for us as a couple. That’s our gift to each other this Christmas Day.
May your day be filled with love, too.